Cycling at the Racetrack

Cycling at the Racetrack

Cycling at the race-track (2)Cycling at the race-track (1)

The Moreton Bay council organized a cycling morning at Lakeside Raceway this morning.

Between 6.30 and 8.30am cyclists were allowed around the track, and we got a free drink at the end of the morning too.

At first I got a bit frustrated that Lilly was going so slow till I realized she had a flat front tyre. (Silly Neil). So I pumped it up and she flew. When she took the "kids shortcut" that cut out one of the hills, I had trouble keeping up with her.

I think it’s great that the council is organizing things like this. And it was good to see at least one of our local councillors, David Dwyer, out on the track in his bright yellow spandex. Good on ya David!

The second best thing about the ride this morning was being on bitumen and not having to worry about cars.

The best thing was having some fun exercise with the kids.

If you’re looking for a fun way to get fit, buy a bike!

Bikes, Rivers and Old Rum

Bikes, Rivers and Old Rum

Normanby Distillery (3)Normanby Distillery (2)Normanby Distillery (1)

The site of the old Normanby Rum Distillery on the banks of the South Pine River, behind Westfield, Strathpine.

It was built in the early 1870’s and continually produced rum from 1875 until it closed in 1968.

A boat would steam up the South Pine River, collect the rum, and steam back down to Brisbane (an 80 mile journey by water).

One of the old stills operates at Old Petrie Town historical village, where you can sample the rum every Sunday morning.

 I passed by here this morning while cycling.  I’m really enjoying all the bike tracks and parks in our local area.

Spitfire Memorial

Spitfire Memorial

Spitfire MemorialSpitfire Memorial
Spitfire Memorial

A couple of our boys went to school at Pine Rivers High School in Strathpine.

The high school and surrounding houses are built on what used to be an RAAF air field, used in World War 2. In fact many of the streets in that area are named after WW2 planes – Spitfire Avenue, Lancaster Street, Wirraway Street, etc. And Spitfire Avenue is built on the actual runway of the old airfield. Every time I drive down that street I imagine young pilots revving up the engines on their Spitfires, tearing down the runway, and up into the sky above where I live.

In 1944, a couple of Spitfires collided mid-air over what is now the North Pine Country Markets. These photos show a memorial to Bill Wright and Alan Chandler who died in the collision. I don’t know how old they were, but I’m guessing they weren’t much older than a couple of our own boys today.

I ride past the monument some mornings, and thought I’d pay my respects today.

Who knows, perhaps in some other universe, young Bill and Alan are still flying their Spitfires and enjoying the view?

Regardless, these young men deserve to be remembered.

Exploring with Dad

Exploring with Dad

“Dad, when I get older will you get me a real bike?”

“Sure, Lilly. What sort do you want?”

“One of those cool bikes like what Harrison has with gears?”

“Yeah, why not!”

Lilly did really well today on her pint-sized bike as we went up and down the hills near our house and checked out some of the local parks near the river, including the “secret” park.

“Hey Lilly, I think it’s good this park is secret, don’t you?”

“Yeah, so that means the bogans won’t find it”.

I think “bogans” are on the lowest rung of the social ladder in our kids minds.

Thanks for a great lunchtime bike-ride, Lilly!

Exploring on Sunday

Exploring on Sunday

Exploring on Sunday
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Steve G and Harrison out exploring with me this morning. We found some really quiet trails and ended up doing a leisurely 25km.

Thanks for being patient and going slower than normal for this old warhorse, Steve!

That’s Yebri Creek in the photos. It’s about a kilometer upstream of where John Oxley came ashore in 1823 with shipwrecked convict John Finnegan (who mistakenly thought it was the Brisbane River).

It’s at this creek in 1824 that some convicts from the new settlement at Humpybong on the Redcliffe Peninsula came for timber. They encountered some Aborigines, one of whom tried to take an axe from one of the timbergetters. Tragically, the Aborigine was shot and killed in return – a single act of violence which tarnished the relationship between Aborigines and Europeans for decades.

Forty-five years later in the 1860’s, Tom Petrie, a local pioneer and friend of the local North Pine Aboriginal clan, built a stockyard here.

Bunyaville 3 - Neil Nil

Bunyaville 3 – Neil Nil

I went over the handlebars three times today.

After Crash #1
After Crash #1
After Crash #2
Harrison and Neil
after Crash #2
After Crash #3
After Crash #3

 

Thankfully I was with Simon & Sam, Steve G, Steve B and Harrison, so there were plenty of people to look out for me (and laugh).

We paid a visit to Bunyaville State Forest at Albany Creek to try our skills on the mountain bike trails there.  They’re amazing.  Miles and miles of dirt tracks with wierd names like “Nut Cracker”, “Psycho”, “Jurassic”, “Carnage”. 

I thought to myself “Why do they have such strange names?” 

Now I know.

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Simon and Sam
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Steve G (right) fixes Harrison’s saddle

The first time over the handlebars, I used the front brakes too much.

The second time over the handlebars, I think I didn’t learn my lesson well enough from the first time, and used the front brakes too much.

The third time I couldn’t get up.  Some sadist had put a hidden pothole in the track, and my front wheel found it as accurately as a guided missile.  My helmet hit the ground with a horrible thud, and I saw stars.  I’m really glad Steve G was able to haul me up on my feet.

Now every inch of my body hurts.

I have a black eye, skinned knees, grazed chin, cut nose, bleeding forearms, horrible looking shoulder, and numerous bruises.

But it was a hoot!  I had a great time.

Everyone (except me) rode really well and safely. I was really proud of Harrison too. For a nine year old he did really well on a tough ride. And Sam did amazingly well too considering he was on a BMX not a mountain bike.

And, unless I die first, I’ll be out again tomorrow morning trying my skills against another (easier) trail.

Thanks to Simon and Steve B for the photos, and thanks to Steve G for the map data.